KAMPALA–Patrick Amuriat emerged winner of yesterday’s hotly contested FDC presidential race. He garnered 641 votes against Muntu’s 463, a difference of 178 votes.
When PML Daily visited Namboole Stadium where FDC members convened to vote their next party leader, the readings on the wall showed that Muntu was heading for a defeat and this came to pass.
Supporters of Nandala Mafabi, the current FDC secretary general, after losing the 2012 presidential election, did not buckle to defeat. They retreated underground and started to clandestinely fight Muntu leadership.
This group, led by Sarah Eperu, braved yesterday’s heavy down pour in their resolve to have Muntu .
“This man (Muntu) is killing our party. He crippled the street protests. We have mobilized delegates to chase him away from the leadership,” Eperu said.
Muntu himself hinted on the activities of this group in his strongly worded speech when he said: “This group has been causing instability in the party. Amuriat , you are talking about solving contradictions in the party, but you move with the sources,” Muntu openly told over 1,000 delegates.
But this did not save him, the delegates decided to vote otherwise.
Some analysts point at Dr. Kizza Besigye to be behind the down fall of Muntu, his former bush war comrade.
They said Besigye fronted Amuriat so that he can easily get the FDC Presidential party ticket in 2021.
But Dr Besigye told PML Daily that he never supported any candidate but decided to move with Amuriat to fight the lifting of the Presidential age limit.
“Unfortunately, the FDC presidential race was launched when the country was facing political crisis. I could not sit and watch Mr Museveni changing the Constitution for selfish reasons,” Besigye explained.
Legislators like Ibrahim Kasozi who headed Muntu campaigns agree with this assertion, adding that they will not sit down and relax.
“We will continue being very active in the party unlike our colleagues who abandoned party activities when we defeated them in 2012,” Kasozi explained.
In this race, some senior party members from Buganda region like Joyce Sebugwawo, the vice president of Buganda region, Bwanika Bbaale, one of the founding member of the party have been fighting to uproot Muntu from the party leadership.
“I brought Muntu but he failed to perform to my expectations. When Amuriat fails to perform, I shall also fight him,” Sebugwawo assured PML Daily this morning.
Buganda region has many voters and without its backing, its hard for any candidate to win.
In 2012, Mafabi lost to Muntu because the entire Buganda party leaders backed Muntu.
Mafabi to take LOP job
Few days to the nominations, PML Daily learnt that Amuriat convinced Mafabi not to contest but back him for the party presidency, assuring him of rewarding him with Leader of Opposition in Parliament slot.
Mafabi served in this position during Besigye’s tenure. When Muntu took over, he appointed Wafula Oguttu.
Then last year, Muntu appointed Winnie Kizza to replace Oguttu who had lost his Bukooli Central Parliamentary seat.
When PML Daily asked Mafabi about this tradeoff, he just laughed.
“Just enter and do your job. You will know in future,” Mafabi said.
Others on the verge of losing their Parliamentary jobs include Ibrahim Semujju Nganda, the opposition chief whip and Public Accounts Committee chairperson Angelina Osege. The two have been at frontline fighting Amuriat.
In his victory speech, Amuriat said he will not allow divisions within the party. The first task that lies ahead of him, however, is to bring the Muntu camp to the negotiating table.
“He has been campaigning that Muntu leadership divided the party. Now that he is the driving seat, he should work hard to reconcile all the members,” an analyst explained.
Forming another party
A senior member of the party revealed that before the end of next year, unless the contradictions are solved, another party will emerge from FDC.
“We have two options, one to form political party or front Bobi wine if Besigye contests in 2021,” a senior party member said.
This confirms what Besigye group have been saying. They supported Amuriat to uproot Muntu leadership, arguing that that Muntu group has been strategizing to delete Besigye from the political scene.
“That group in Parliament never loved Besigye. If they had won, their plan was to front Muntu and block Besigye from contesting in 2021,” FDC senior party member from Buganda revealed.
Muntu is also accused of crippling defiance campaigns that Besigye launched last year when he appointed leadership in Parliament.
Besigye’s group wanted the party to boycott filling in Parliamentary positions but Muntu acted otherwise, which annoyed the radical group.